? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 3


Brady Rhoades

What Your Dad's Underpants Have to Do With Space Travel

Been thinking of the astronaut who drifted away
in his capsule, still drifting in the huge space out there,
part of a loop. Eighty-five years old,
going bony, brain splat on the steel hatch,
mouth in a slush, thighs running around the cabin.
Written off by the Russian government in 1960.
Nobody wants to think of him this way. It’s better
not to think of some things, like your dad’s underpants.
“Where is the good in my dad’s underpants?” you ask.
“And what’s it got to do with astronauts?”
Which reminds me: he must have been wearing underpants.
It’s not all about spacesuits, radar, physics.
Nobody wants to admit that sad diaper was loosed
on the universe, but it was, an artifact
of the human race, and they’ll draw conclusions, you know.